New Music: Nothing Left Behind

Share it on Twitter:  Check out this new song from Malan Darras

By: Malan Darras
Song: Nothing Left Behind
Date: April 6 2015

// Lyrics

When your feet are standing
On shaky ground
Take one step forward now

When the game is over
Get out of town
Burn all your bridges down

Til there’s nothing left behind

When you see old memories
From the bad old days
Change all your evil ways

If your desparate demons
Are still hanging on
Cut right down through the bone

Til there’s nothing left behind.
Just keep losing your mind.
Till there’s nothing left behind.

The Story Behind ‘Nothing Left Behind’

On April 3rd, 2015 I got a new Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface in the mail. It’s a small, red box that lets me plug instruments and microphones into my computer.

I grabbed my acoustic guitar and decided to do a quick check to see what it was going to sound like.

I’ve been using a cheap usb mic lately and wanted to use my Brauner Phantom Classic again, which is why I needed the red box (phantom power).

I did a quick level check with a song I wrote a few days before. When I got done I listened to the playback and thought it was quite terrible.

The microphone sounded great, but I sounded awful. And the guitar was out of tune and had a dead battery. So the only guitar that was recorded was coming through the vocal mic. Total crap.

Second Chances

The next day I exported the song to my iPhone and listened to it while I went for a little walk around my neighborhood.

That’s when it hit me.

The song, while imperfect, is probably the closest I’ll ever get to being truthful on a recording.

Because no one was supposed to hear it. There was no thought about what it was going to sound like. No producer staring at me through the glass. No anxiety. No audience in mind. No commercial considerations.

This is exactly what it sounds like here in my apartment, when no one else is around. It’s just me, singing quietly and holding back a little so I don’t disturb the neighbors.

It’s a scratch track, but it’s perfect.

The more I listened to it the more I thought it was something I wanted to share. Because I know that the next time I hook that microphone up and start to play I’ll be thinking about things other than just the music.

I’ll never get another first shot like this.
So this is it. As raw as it gets.

Let me know what you think.

– Malan

  • Hernan Sebastian

    Awesome song, Malan. So RAW. Reminds of a few years ago – – I had been itching to jam with a band again so I put an Ad out to find a drummer & bass. We all got together in this dude’s house in Venice and jammed for an hour or so. I played Acustic + vocals and the drummer recorded all of our session and then emailed us the MP3. I never thought much of it until a few months ago when I had re-organized my playlist and that song someway or another crept in and started blasting while I was driving. Sometimes the real beauty of a song comes to shine when it’s a first try & hasn’t gone through hundreds of tweaks. Congratulations, keep ’em coming and let us know when you play live in LA!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah it’s weird how something can kind of ‘come to be’ after it’s set for a while. i’ve noticed that a lot with my really old music. i didn’t like it much at the time, so i’d quit the band, then years later listen back and go… wait.. holy shit.

  • CreationNation

    I dig it man, gritty and honest. Sometimes striving for perfection will actually take away from a song. This type of tune would fall into that trap, in my opinion. Really cool vibe. I think of how Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” would have sounded if it were “perfected” too much or over produced. It would have been gutted!

    Great job 🙂

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah I’m with you. i started hearing horns and strings and a gospel choir on this song and thought. “before i get into all that… let me just put this out as-is” to sort of document it’s raw form.

  • Thomas

    Reminds me of the purity of “something in the way” coupled with a Cat Stevens or Ben Harper voice vibe… I applaud you for it. Well composed and needs very little tweaked. Sign me up for the EP.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Thomas, ‘something in the way’ is one of my all-time favorites. probably because it sounded like it was recorded on a boom box

      • Thomas

        Totally agree – one of my most played Nirvana tracks. What are ~5 of your other all-time faves? Interested in the roots of your musical tastes…

  • adriana

    I was expecting something more raucous based on the clip you posted on FB, so this was a surprise. I think it’s kinda lazy to describe one guy’s voice by referencing someone else, but in a couple of spots I was having flashbacks of Eddie Vedder circa 1992 (though I couldn’t put my finger on it until a couple hours later). I’m also a fan of the imperfect and under-done (especially since the whole damn world is over-produced these days), so bonus points for letting us hear the raggedy truth. It gives the words more credence anyway. If you’re interested in constructive/destructive feedback, then I would have clipped it and ended a few lines before you did. Overall it felt ballsy and real. Nice to get the backstory, too. Keep going!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah i was thinking the same thing about the length. it’ll probably end up losing a little length in the long run, thanks.

  • Tom

    Really liked this song, thanks.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      #thanks Tom

  • Remy

    That’s a really good song. Nice vocals.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks for that Remy

  • Michael Philips

    Very touching and bluesy, hits hard just as is. Thanks for sharing Malan.

  • Anthony G. Marko

    …instantly thought of Cash’s version of Reznor’s “Hurt.” This was a bit more raw but good to the ear nonetheless. Thanks for sharing man.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Anthony, J Cash is the man

  • Rory Coyle

    Thanks for sharing Malan. It’s the kind of song that makes me want to hit the open road. And your vocals, man…honest and raw. I dig it. Gotta let me know if you do any shows here in Hollyweird.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      will do.

  • russell gooding

    Yeah an artist is creative in many mediums. Put out 21 music vids on my guitar with 30 days. Just decided to do it and everything just fell into place. Great music bro.